LibQUAL+™ Survey 2011 FAQ

LibQUAL+™ Survey 2011 FAQ

libqual

The Appalachian State University Library will be conducting a major web-based survey of randomly selected faculty, students, and staff during October and November 2011 to evaluate user perceptions of library service quality. The LibQUAL+™ survey is a rigorously tested Web-based survey used by libraries to assess and improve library services.

More than 1,000 libraries have participated in LibQUAL+™, including colleges and university libraries, community college libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries, and public libraries. LibQUAL+™ has expanded internationally, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The growing LibQUAL+™ community of participants and its extensive dataset are rich resources for improving library services. 

  

About the LibQUAL+™ Survey

  1. What is the LibQUAL+™ survey?
  2. What does the survey measure?
  3. How will this survey benefit the Appalachian State University community?
  4. How and when is the Appalachian State University Library survey being conducted?
  5. Are responses confidential?
  6. How can I get more information about LibQUAL+™?

Completing the Survey

  1. How long will the survey take?
  2. Can I skip questions that don't apply to me?
  3. Will there be any special incentives for participating?
  4. Is the survey exclusively web-based, or can I complete a paper version?
  5. If I deleted the email can I still take the survey?
  6. What if I cannot open the URL from my email?
  7. Why does the survey seem to repeat the same question(s)?
  8. Why are reminders sent to respondents who have completed the survey?
  9. What discipline category should I choose for my major or area of research?

Results

  1. What will be done with the survey results?
  2. What information is shared with other institutions?
  3. What do the survey results look like?
  4. Where and when will results be posted?

About the LibQUAL+™ Survey

1.  What is the LibQUAL+™ survey?

The LibQUAL+™ survey is a rigorously tested Web-based survey used by multiple academic and research libraries to assess and improve library services. It is a research and development project originally developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in collaboration with the Texas A&M University Libraries.

The survey measures user perceptions of service quality in three dimensions: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place. For each item, users indicate their minimum service level, desired service level, and perceived service performance. Additional items address information literacy outcomes, library use, and general satisfaction.

More than 1,000 libraries have participated in LibQUAL+™, including colleges and university libraries, community college libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries, and public libraries, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

2.  What does the survey measure?

The instrument addresses three service quality dimensions that have been found to be valid in previous assessments of library services: Effect of Service, Library as Place, Information Control. Each question has three parts that ask respondents to indicate (1) the minimum service level they will accept, (2) the desired service level they expect, and (3) the perceived level of service currently provided. This design permits analysis of gaps between expectations, perception, and minimum acceptance level of service.

3.  How will this survey benefit the Appalachian State University community?

By using the LibQUAL+™ instrument and initiating action based on the results of this survey, the Belk Library and Information Commons can be more responsive to users’ needs and provide services that are better aligned to users’ expectations.

4.  How and when is the Appalachian State University Library survey being conducted?

During the last week of October through the third week of November, a random sample of Appalachian students, faculty and staff will receive email messages from Mary Reichel, University Librarian, asking them to participate in the survey and providing them with an embedded URL for the actual survey. Reminder notices will be sent periodically.

The survey data will be collected on secure servers located in Texas. Survey results will be reported back to Appalachian as aggregate mean score data in December and final results will be shared with the campus community in spring 2012.

5.  Are responses confidential?

Yes. The LibQUAL+™ approach to confidentiality is guided by the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association (see http://www.apa.org/ethics/code.html, section 5). Although some information is captured from respondents, such as network and email address, privacy is protected in two ways. First, only information which would be difficult to trace back to an individual is captured. Second, personal information and email addresses entered into the incentive drawing are separated from survey responses assuring confidentiality. After the draw, the email addresses are discarded.

6.  How can I get more information about LibQUAL+™?

For more information, see the LibQUAL+™ homepage at http://www.libqual.org.

Completing the Survey

1.  How long will the survey take?

The survey typically takes from 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

2.  Can I skip questions that don't apply to me?

No! If you do not wish to answer a question or feel a question does not apply to you, select NA (not applicable). Surveys whose core questions are not completely filled out are not counted in the aggregate scores.

3.  Will there be any special incentives for participating?

There will be no compensation per se for completing the survey, though an incentive prize will be offered as thanks to participants. At the end of the web-based survey, respondents may elect to include an email address which will enter them in a drawing for two Kindle Fires. The award winners will be contacted once the survey is closed.

4.  Is the survey exclusively web-based, or can I complete a paper version?

Respondents not able to complete an online questionnaire may obtain a paper copy of the survey by sending an email message to libqual@appstate.edu.

5.  If I deleted the email can I still take the survey?

Yes. You can get another copy of the web link by sending an email message to libqual@appstate.edu.

6.  What if I cannot open the URL from my email?

If you have trouble opening the URL from within your email message, you can copy the URL and paste it into your Web browser. If you still cannot access the survey, you can email libqual@appstate.edu and someone will contact you.

7.  Why does the survey seem to repeat the same question(s)?

The survey examines a variety of dimensions of library services. Repetition or redundancy in questions allows LibQUAL+ to analyze the validity of each service quality dimension through statistical methods..

8.  Why are reminders sent to respondents who have already completed the survey?

Due to security and confidentiality features, everyone surveyed will receive reminders, even those who have already responded. When submitted, survey responses and identifying information are immediately separated, so we have no way of knowing who has already responded.

Reminders are also sent because research indicates that the single highest predictor of response rates in web-based surveys is the number of contacts made, including reminders. (See: Cook, Heath, and Thompson, "A meta-analysis of response rates in web- or internet-based surveys", Educational and Psychological Measurement, v. 60, 2000, p.821-836.)

9.  What discipline category should I choose for my major or area of research?

Because this survey is taken by people at many colleges and universities, discipline categories have been standardized for ease of comparison. or If you are in doubt as to what discipline you should select from the drop-down list on the survey, or if you are not engaged in discipline-specific work, select “Other”. If you are a student who has not yet chosen a major, select “Undecided.”

Results

1.  What will be done with the survey results?

Survey data is transmitted directly from the LibQUAL+™ server to a database. The data is then analyzed and reports are generated for individual libraries that provide information on how users perceive the quality of their service. Participating institutions will have access to summary results for each institution, allowing for comparisons among peer institutions and all participating academic institutions. This will aid in developing benchmarks and understanding best practices across institutions, and will help the Belk Library and Information Commons to align services with user expectations.

2.  What information is shared with other institutions?

Summary statistics only are shared with other institutions. The survey summary results will be made available to participants via the World Wide Web on a password-protected web site.

3.  What do the survey results look like?

Survey results will include aggregate summaries, demographics by library, item summaries, dimension summaries, and dimensions measured for survey implementation.

4.  Where and when will results be posted?

Results will be compiled in a report that will be posted on the library web site in Spring 2007